It won’t stop unexpected medical bills.
But legislation approved earlier this month by the Senate is designed to give Arizonans a chance to fight having to pay them.
Sen. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, said SB 1441 will help with situations where someone goes into the hospital.
“If it’s a scheduled procedure they have gone in to make sure that the doctor takes their insurance, they’ve checked to make sure the hospital takes their insurance and they think they’re all set,’’ she said.
“A month later they get a bill from a doctor that’s out of network,’’ Lesko said. “And they had no control over it.’’
The most common situation, she said, is that a hospital has contracted with an anesthesiologist.
But not being an employee of the hospital, that person submits a separate bill to the patient.
Under current law, Lesko explained, the patient has nowhere to turn as the doctor wants his or her money and the insurance company says it won’t pay.
SB 1441 does not automatically excuse the patient from that balance billing. Instead, it sets up a procedure for people to ask the Department of Insurance to intervene and determine what’s really a fair charge.
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